Patricia Cornwell: Scarpetta's Next Move

Crime novelist talks about her new movie, next book and weapons collection.
3:00 | 12/07/11

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Transcript for Patricia Cornwell: Scarpetta's Next Move
-- -- -- Peering into a microscope not exactly the stuff of pulse quickening drama unless you're one of the millions of fans at today's most popular crime shows the science of splatter patterns and forensic -- There's now much more sexy -- any old cop show shoot out and tonight. My co anchor Terry Moran meets the best selling crime novelist who was among the first to see that potential. And she has a few scary things to -- it. I'll let you fly -- This isn't exactly the most likely place to interview crimes -- but for Patricia Cornwell one of the best selling crime writers ever flying her own helicopter. It's all part of the room. But this requires -- a certain amount of skills put your dexterity as you you don't want -- ride you wanna think -- it's a very philosophical machine that way you do your dance with it. Our destination the body farm at -- University of Tennessee. -- for three decades forensic scientists have studied the decomposition. Of human remains. A crucial field for crime solving. Opposition what insects and birds do what weather conditions. Whether the bodies of -- -- design awards and water of them. Grim work perhaps but for Patricia Cornwell it is the work of hero. More than any other crime writer Cornwell has heralded the hard work and hard won insights of forensic investigators. The crime scene technicians and medical examiners who solve cases by searching for tiny clues in that rich -- blood and fibers. Left behind by killers. I didn't invent forensic science and medicine I just happen to be one of the first people to realize how how interesting it is. Gordon wells greatest invention is doctor -- scar pad at the main character in nineteen -- novels including the latest one red mist. When -- pet is in charge you are going to be fine and we -- leaves the scene. Dennis fossil safe anymore -- could come up with her she -- Now because I dropped its chemistry -- to -- the lab in college -- -- -- English major but I mean her strength of character her confidence her. Sense that you're safe with I think that some of that is me that there are things about her -- are out are wishful thinking on my part she's a doctor she's a lawyer. She's of a radiology expert she does these things for real I simply write about them you -- -- so good they each have a little tight pattern right there -- And that's why we're here not far from the body farm at the national forensic academy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A premier training ground for forensic investigators from around the country where Cornwell is a major benefactor. And a perpetual student. Don't want to get blood on the issues we donned protective gear to take a close look at how blood spatter evidence is. In one you can tell in some spots in the puddle of blood spots on -- bottom end -- hit somebody with heart and blood flies out. So it's all telling it's it's all screaming in its own way screaming what happened with what you did in. First a baseball bat and real human blood. -- -- Is dead now -- eight. Now one thing I'll show you right away if you look at these droplets you can -- the direction the fear of going -- then the camera. That's interesting that's very different pattern than -- baseball bat because you have a different sized object doing. But still you have these. These high velocity little droplets. Watching -- will hear it's almost as if she's she and only keystroke that's been steadily hitter wants that I got was an accident respectful now because I'm counting. Excellent books because of the blanket sustain. -- -- tell the truth even if you down what's on tap it. -- blood doesn't the blood doesn't -- M. Everywhere we go here see how it opens up like a flower ballistics. Fingerprints old guns nine. This is actually more for decapitated people this would not. I don't mean to be -- -- to -- good -- for cutting someone's throat Cornwell is in her own passionate for understanding how bad guys killed. And good guys catch them and when did it -- to you that all of this painstaking evidence. Would make for great story because when I was -- crime reporter from the newspaper. I thought it made for great stories and that's what I chased factor it was always. The unusual twist with a slant toward the aha moment as you say where. There's one little thing the devil in the detail -- it changes everything and I always want that one detail. All across the screen these days big and small you can seek -- -- influence in shows like CSI Dexter or criminal minds. Hugely successful shows and that -- clearly rankled her. I was shocked. Shocked I thought -- -- why didn't someone think of this while we had a chance but my property -- then. We're talking really the ninety's was was all tied up -- movie options so yes there was. There -- there were some moments where I thought wow you know my time came and went and any theatrical adaptation of my material. Is already been done by every -- else. You know that that would surprise to hear one of the most successful authors in the world. And you're -- and one point you felt. I -- about I did feel that but I don't think it's over I think what happens it will have been worth waiting for. In fact Angelina Jolie has signed on to play caves are pent up in a film now in development is that -- helicopter -- -- that it is. That's pretty cool. And for legions of fans it can't hit theaters too soon. On the side ever helicopter Cornwell has emblazoned case -- -- -- seal which he designed. A tribute to the characters she created. Characters taken Michael -- for millions of readers and hope for. We know that when she arrives when she appears on the scene no matter what state she's in a what chaos abounds somehow she's going to make it better. You like her I do like her I wish she would walk into this room. Because I would love to be her friend and I think my heart break would be is if she walked in look at -- she didn't know who was. -- Quarter protagonist lives vividly doesn't. Patricia -- new book red mist is in stores now thanks to Terry.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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